Location: Unknown Shelter
Greg and I began hiking together this morning. We forded the West Branch of the Pleasant River. Greg crossed without shoes and I decided to cross in my flip flops. The water was only knee deep and fairly calm. I was surprised there wasn’t a bridge because the area was very tourist oriented. Many of the paths were packed dirt and flat and a parking lot was right by the river. We saw several families, all of whom casted curious glares in our direction.
After the river, Greg and I began our ascent of Chairback Mountain. Quickly I realized I didn’t have the energy to finish the climb. I told Greg to go ahead if I fell behind, which I did after about a quarter of a mile. I was so tired that I laid down in the trail and took a nap. I don’t know how long I slept, but when I woke up I felt a sense of urgency. I quickly continued down the trail and up Chairback Mountain. Chairback was a tough climb. Every time I came to a crest, I’d look up and could see the next cliff that I needed to climb. The trail was seemingly vertical and in many places I stored my trekking poles because I had to use my hands to scramble from boulder to boulder and up rockslides.
I finally made it to the lean-to to find Greg had beaten me by two hours. Just after dark, we saw two headlamps coming up the hill. Eric and Tim emerged from the darkness. Tim, while climbing the rockslide, lost his balance and began falling backwards. He snapped the quick release latch on his pack and it fell off a cliff into the pines below the rocks. He spent nearly an hour climbing down the cliff to get his pack. He and Eric were exhausted after a 15 mile day to catch up to us.